The Karate Kid


My kids are 6 and 3, and last night they were finally introduced to that all-time cinematic ass-kicker, The Karate Kid.

I can’t help thinking of the line from There’s Something About Mary, when Pat Heely says to Mary, “I just miss the classics, y’know, like The Karate Kid or Harold and Maude.” You laugh, but in my mind The Karate Kid is classic. Hell, think of all the great lines:

• Wax on, Wax off.

• You pretty OK, too.

• Get him a body bag! Yeah!

• Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything.

• Danny: Hey, what kind of belt do you have? Miyagi: Canvas. JC Penney, $3.98. You like?

As Bill Simmons writes about in his brilliant ode to the Karate Kid trilogy, the movies are all absolutely ludicrous. But the first one is equally gripping. The final fight scene grabs me every time, Elizabeth Shue is the girl I wanted to date at age 15, Danny is the spindly kid in all of us, fighting the bullies bent on being anuses.

And now Emmett, my 3-year-old, insists on saying “Wax on, wax off”—to everything.

4 thoughts on “The Karate Kid”

  1. karate kid is mos definitely in my top five of great american cinema. my friends and i in college one night got drunk and made up a karate kid drinking game. everyone takes a drink whenever the word “miyagi,” “daniel” or “karate” is mentioned. whenever daniel gets beat up, you have to chug a beer. needless to say, one can be pretty wasted by the 40 minute mark. i dont recommend you play this game with your kids though.

  2. oh, and while we’re on the subject, dont you think its a tragedy that the karate kid is being remade with will smiths kid? and its in china. but they are still doing japanese karate. and jackie chan is a kung fu guy. wtf?

  3. Weird, once again, that this is a blog post because I was thinking a few days ago about how good the first Karate Kid really is. It brings me back to a time in my life that I inexplicable miss (I was actually taking karate when this movie came out) and also captures the 80’s with it’s horrible fashion and synthesizer-obsessed music. However, even beyond that, I still think it’s still a solid piece of movie-making and the fact that we’re talking about it 25 years later (more or less) puts it in “classic” status, even if it is with a small “c.”

  4. Jason: Just watched the trailer for the remake of “The Karate Kid,” and had that same “wtf” feeling that I had when I saw “The Pink Panther” remake-trailer. Why, why, why? (For the record, I saw both of the Steve Martin Pink Panthers. Not because I wanted to, but because my grade-school aged daughter did. It doesn’t excuse my behavior, but it helps explain it. And yes, sat through both Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. The things we do for our children.)

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